Friday, May 21, 2010

The Razor's Edge

The last 36 hours I have been struggling to hold my ambition for love and my habitual patterns of fear, resistance and withdrawal within myself simultaneously. I have been feeling shame for being "weak". But then I read this today:

"But that's what makes love so intriguing: Losing it -- letting go of old, confining identities -- is totally exciting and totally frightening. This makes for a most interesting situation. I am pulled in opposite directions: expanding and contracting, wanting to go forward and wanting to maintain my defenses at the same time.

This is why intimate relationship can be such a potent vehicle for wisdom and awakening. It allows us to experience both sides of our nature -- the call of our larger being and the fear and insecurity of our false self -- at once, right next to each other. On this threshold where part of us wants to expand and part of us wants to pull back, we stand on a razor's edge -- the boundary for the unknown, and the frontier of a whole new way of being...

Since it is easy to start doubting ourselves when we encounter our darkness and demons, it is important to understand that a wholesome logic operates here: The brighter love's radiance, the darker the shadows we encounter; the more we feel life stirring within us, the more we also feel our dead spots; the more conscious we become, the more clearly we see where we remain unconscious. None of this need dishearten us. For in facing our darkness, we bring light to forgotten parts of our being. In recognizing where we have been unconscious, we become more conscious. And in seeing and feeling the ways we've gone dead, we start to revive and kindle our desire to live more expansively."
John Welwood, from Love and Awakening

I am walking the razor's edge and it is such a fascinating experience to witness, even though it is heart-achey. I am sitting on the fence between ego-reaction and witnessing-Presence, having funky feelings but able to step back and hold space for them instead of getting overwhelmed by them or acting them out.

After such an incredibly rich weekend of relationship with Knight, I have been struggling with the silence and lack of contact. Since our magical time together Tuesday we've had two text exchanges and one five minute conversation. I've sent a couple texts from a place of vulnerability and received no response. It's crazy how fast the old stories close in on the communication void. It's all circumstantial on his side, but The Invisible Girl tells me that if he doesn't acknowledge me, I don't matter. She tells me that he's forgetting me, that he's really happy being single and free of me, as if I've been some kind of obligation and weight rather than a desired addition to his life.

I feel childish for having hurt feelings about minimal contact for two and a half days. It's only 60 hours for heaven's sake! And the truth is, it is childish. It is my wounded child, The Invisible Girl, who tells me the fear-full stories.

This is where my addiction and habits lie. I do something that is an authentic expression of my love -- like a text -- and then instead of just being in the joy of loving, I find myself waiting for validation that I have been seen. I start sulking because I've had an unconscious expectation that he'll respond. Sometimes I allow my joy and open-heartedness depend on whether I "know" I've been seen, and our love acknowledged. I do not seem to trust what I cannot see or hear on a daily basis. I do not seem to trust his love is sustainable, which really means that I am not trusting my own sustaining lovability.

Through the last 48 hours I have been feeling increasing resistance to my intentions for choosing love. When the fear thoughts take hold, I am struggling to do what is needed to bring it back to love. I know love is right there if I am willing to pick it up, to focus my attention, but my ego wants to be lazy and allow the fear-demons to come play. My ego and demons tell me, "This feels like hard work and it hurts. It's easier--and safer--to be fearful. It's easier to withdraw and close up my heart. It's easier to build walls than to keep the love flowing through emotional discomfort and fear. This choosing-love stuff is a waste of time because either I'll fall back into the old patterns anyway or I'll never find people who really love me as I am. All these authors and teachers who say they are living passionate and love-filled lives are lying and are still living misery and drama behind closed doors. It's not really possible to live vibrantly in love and be happy every day."

Yuck. I don't like the way my ego and demons talk to me. They aren't nice.

I feel the shadow, I am ashamed of it for arising, and I am tempted to project my frustration with myself onto Knight. Instead of sitting with the discomfort of my own darkness, me ego wants to make it about him, tell myself that he's doing something wrong and I should stop reaching out. The Invisible Girl says, "He must not love me as much as he says because he doesn't want to talk to me every day anymore."

Withdrawal is my primary shadow response to heartache. Rather than confront what I feel, I withdraw from others and justify my withdrawal with stories about how they don't care and how I am better off without them because they're just going to keep hurting me. I also withdraw because I'm afraid to expose what I'm ashamed of.

A dear friend posted this on Facebook today:

"Confronting what comes up is the precursor to moving through it to get to the healing that is available to you now. Be honest about your pain with loved ones instead of hiding behind it and putting up walls or defenses for protection. Building walls only make you feel more alone. This is the opportunity to connect from a deep, raw, vulnerable space. Connect with your Self first and foremost- and with others who can be a healing balm to your Soul."
(from Divine Harmony)

Today, choosing love looks like accepting the conflict in myself rather than resisting it, and reaching out for support rather than reacting out of shadow.

Instead of continuing to feed the stories, withdrawing and hiding what I'm experiencing from Knight, I reached out to him today and asked for a conversation. He held space for me to express my feelings and shared his own experience. One of the most remarkable qualities of our relationship is our mutual ability and willingness to talk things through and to deepen intimacy by being completely vulnerable about our feelings, even the darkness.

I asked for what I wanted and love responded. I am ever so grateful for it.

"Trust life to do it's magic. It's about surrender to not-knowing how it will look like when it is healed. It is beyond our hands and beyond our willing. There might be moments that feel scary or unprotected, but it is life at work, moving and changing....Life is always flow and cannot be tied down."

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